Blood drive draws many donors

February 4, 2011 — by Vivian LeTran and Kyumin Shim

More than 80 people walked out of the Small Gym on Jan. 27, proudly wearing “I’m a donorsaurus,” “Got Blood?” and “I’m a Hero. I gave blood,” stickers on their chests as participants of the school’s biannual blood drive.

These blood drives, co-sponsored by the Stanford Blood Center, have become a tradition for Saratoga High since they were first held in 2000. The drive was organized by the Community Commission, headed by seniors Daryl Chang and Abhishek Venkataramana. The National Honors Society Club also helped with posters, flyers and providing volunteers for the drive.

This year, the commission met their goal of about 120 sign-ups and about 80 walk-ins.

“It’s open to anyone eligible from our community. And this year we had about 100 sign-ups total,” said senior Daryl Chang, one of the heads of the community commission.

The number of people who sign up is only an approximation as some people didn’t show up, while others failed to meet the requirements, such as low iron levels and recent travels to a malarial zone. A few students were turned away because of the age limit as well.

“Other schools use 16 years old as the cut-off, but Saratoga High does 17 years old because it is [assistant principal Karen Hyde’s] policy,” said Chang.

Each donor gave about 500 mL of blood, about the size of a water bottle or 1/10 of the body’s blood. This amount could save up to four lives.

“I was excited to help people in this way,” said junior Kellie Chiou, who donated blood for the first time. “I’ve also heard that it’s healthy [for the donor] because it allows for the body to make new blood.”

The event would not have run smoothly if it were not for the extra volunteers. There were 15 volunteers each period for a total of 45 volunteers throughout the day. Many volunteers were from National Honor Society, but other students participated as well.

“Overall, the blood drive was a success,” said Chang. “Thank you for all the volunteers and donors who came.”

There will be another Blood Drive in late April this year for eligible juniors and seniors.

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